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Report Card: Rousey makes lopsided matchup fascinating

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Another quick KO for Rousey (2:19)

Chael Sonnen breaks down Ronda Rousey's first-round KO of Bethe Correia at UFC 190. (2:19)

It's impossible to predict whether Ronda Rousey's dominance will ever grow stale, because it's always changing.

We've all heard the hot takes: "Rousey is great, but how long can we really keep watching sub-one-minute blowouts? And a better question, how long can we keep paying for them? Eventually, this storyline will get a little tired."

And who knows? It might. But that way of thinking ignores the fact that Rousey's appeal has evolved. She's finishing championship fights in the amount of time it takes to tie a shoe -- but she's making it all so damn interesting.

Look at it this way, had Rousey continued to be "just" a former U.S. Olympian judoka who could throw other women on their heads and armbar them before they knew what happened, her appeal might have stagnated by now. Although she would tell you each of the eight armbar finishes with which she began her career were unique in their own way, to the casual fan watching on television, they looked about the same.

Armbar Nation, as intriguing as it was (and still is), would have definitely survived the test of time, but it might not have thrived to superstardom heights.

It's interesting to look back before Rousey's fight against Sara McMann at UFC 170 in February of last year. She admitted in interviews she was "concerned" with how the pay-per-view would perform, numbers-wise -- almost acknowledging the idea that her appeal as a first-round armbar queen had limits.

That fight turned out to be Rousey's first knockout. She has now knocked out three of her past four opponents. She has changed. The basis of her appeal has changed.

She somehow made Saturday's entirely lopsided matchup against Bethe Correia fascinating. She might as well have trademarked the phrase "Do-nothing b----'' during the UFC's Embedded series. She delivered a scorching third-degree burn to Floyd Mayweather at the ESPYs. She promised to play with her food and extend the fight against Correia (and none of us cared that she lied about it). After she knocked out poor Correia, she visibly mouthed to her "Don't cry," which might officially be the coldest move in UFC history.

Rousey's stardom is about all of this -- not just the stopwatch that's timing her fights.

As Rousey heads into an expected third fight against Miesha Tate later his year, who she has already beat twice, you'll hear one opinion after another on whether her dominance has grown stale. By now, hopefully many recognize her dominance is only part of the show.

With that, let's get to the fighter grades from UFC 190.

(A+) Ronda Rousey (Defeated Correia via KO, 0:34 R1)

Not only does Rousey know what she wants to do in a fight, she has also shown an innate ability to predict how her opponents will react to her. How crazy is it to consider Correia was actually reaching for the clinch (the last position you want to be in a Rousey fight). After the win, Rousey said she wanted Correia to come to the clinch, rather than initiate it herself as she's known to do. She accomplished it by tagging Correia with punches early. She's not just beating her opponents, she's playing them like sweet jazz. It's unbelievable.

(A) Claudia Gadelha (Defeated Jessica Aguilar via unanimous decision)

Gadelha beat Aguilar, but she might have really been fighting Joanna Jedrzejczyk depending on how you look at it. To me, Gadelha looked like someone who had learned from a close split-decision loss to Jedrzejczyk in December and is actively preparing for that rematch now, instead of later. Her hands looked terrific, which they will need to be in a five-round fight against the champion. It's easy to forget about this now, considering how good Jedrzejczyk has looked, but Gadelha was a 2-to-1 betting favorite when they fought and she came within one round of beating her.

(A) Demian Maia (Defeated Neil Magny via submission, 2:52 R2)

Maia is one of the most underrated wrestlers in the sport, as proven here again by a seemingly effortless win over an opponent who had won seven in a row. The issue going forward with Maia is the same as it has always been: Eventually he's going to run into a physical welterweight with impenetrable takedown defense, and that's when the problems will occur. But against the middle of the pack, it's pretty obvious Maia is still more than capable of making things look rather easy.

(B+) Patrick Cummins (Defeated Rafael Cavalcante via TKO, 0:45 R3)

Not an easy win at all for Cummins, who draws major bonus points for heart in this one. As much as you don't want to rain on his parade, I just don't see a ton of upside in Cummins going against the top 10 of his division. When he's forcing a wrestling match, it's all good times. When he's not forcing a wrestling match, his striking defense has you on the edge of your seat -- in a bad way. It can be dangerous to set ceilings in this sport, as fighters break through them all the time, but it's hard not to get the feeling we've seen Cummins hit his.

(B) Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (Defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via unanimous decision)

"Shogun" seemingly can't go to the grocery store without getting in a knockdown, drag-out war. With the exception of a 63-second knockout over James Te Huna in 2013, Rua has found himself in a firefight every single time he makes that walk. Despite a bad stretch in the first round after he got clipped, this was a fairly dominant win and an overall strong performance in my book. Amazingly enough, even with a 2-4 record in his last six fights, Rua isn't that far from title contention if he strings together one or two more wins like this.

(C+) Stefan Struve (Defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via unanimous decision)

If you watch the highlights, you'll probably come away thinking Struve did a much better job than usual of keeping distance and utilizing his reach in a decisive win over a legend in the sport. None of that is necessarily inaccurate, but no one is calling this a "statement win" for Struve and that's a wasted opportunity. Nogueira's movement is virtually non-existent at this point and his chin is very suspect. Struve, although he's dealt with his own health issues, should have been the stronger, more explosive and younger fighter here, and he didn't really look like it until the third, when Nogueira was spent.

(C) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Lost to Struve via unanimous decision)

The fact Nogueira even fought this fight is inspiring. The fact he created several opportunities to potentially win it is standing-ovation worthy. Truth is, he should have been done after that devastating knockout loss to Roy Nelson last year. Actually, the real truth is he probably should have been done even before that, considering his long list of health issues. "Big Nog" is one of those guys you truly, truly wish could fight forever, but no one gets that luxury. Not even this legend. It's time.

(C-) Jessica Aguilar (Lost to Gadelha via unanimous decision)

Aguilar had a lot going against her in this one. Sending her to Brazil to fight an opponent who matches up favorably against her in her UFC debut, with so much to prove after years of consideration as the best strawweight in the world -- that's a lot. She got smacked in the mouth early in this fight and just had a hard time catching up after. Not saying this particular matchup would look different under better circumstances, but I still expect a share of bright days for Aguilar in the UFC.

(C-) Antonio Silva (Defeated Soa Palelei via TKO, 0:41 R2)

"Bigfoot" got the win and that's arguably all that matters, but as far as knockouts go, this one barely got your blood pumping. After nearly finishing the fight in the first round, Palelei came out in the second completely gassed. It's probably accurate to say Silva won the fight by not getting finished in the first round, because Palelei was a fish in a barrel immediately after that. Loved Silva sprinting to the cage, trying to rekindle some of that fire we saw in the Alistair Overeem fight many moons ago, but that fire just doesn't look like it's salvageable anymore, even with this win.

(D) Bethe Correia (Lost to Rousey via KO, 0:34 R1)

Like so many other Rousey opponents, it's difficult to really grade Correia's performance. She actually landed several good counter punches, which scuffed up Rousey's face a bit and she did last a whole 34 seconds (hey!). A better grade for Correia would probably be "N/A." It's not that she did or didn't do anything right. She was fighting Ronda Rousey.

(F) Soa Palelei (Lost to Silva via TKO, 0:41 R2)

You can blame his lack of conditioning on an adrenaline dump, as it did look like he was closing in on a finish late in that first round. But come on. Palelei was not in the physical shape one would normally associate with a professional athlete. Even with "Bigfoot" coming in on a losing streak, this could have been a big night for Palelei, something to catapult him into a high-profile fight on that Australian pay-per-view in November. Instead, he gassed and was unceremoniously knocked out. Whatever, I guess.